Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you...
Every seed destroys its container
or else there would be no fruition.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
For this blog post, I’m going to talk about two parts of the White Mountain Druid Sanctuary complex (located in Trout Lake, WA) in more detail. The entire site is called White Mountain Druid Sanctuary, but then on the site is a building called The Sanctuary. It was actually here before Kirk Thomas started manifesting his vision of the Stone Circle and all that has followed.
We are living in what the Goddess calls the Great Turning: an evolutionary/revolutionary transition where the future of humanity and our Earth home will be decided. The Great Turning is here, now. We’re in the midst of the muck and mess of world-shattering change.
My dreams and ritual work have been preparing me for the Great Turning for many years. As the pressures build, and the outer world gets noisier and more chaotic, I find myself digging through these magical experiences, seeking the deep vision and guidance of the Mysteries.
Imbolc has arrived — a between time when light and shadow dance together, and the darkness and death of Winter give way to the light and life of Spring — and a memory of a previous Imbolc ritual comes to me.
In this ritual, the priestesses guided the participants to return to their moment of conception to reclaim the passion and purpose that drew each of them from the realm of spirit into this world of matter. My priestess task was tending the Sacred Witness, a veiled, silent observer, to keep her grounded and protected while she opened herself to the deepest roots of our magic.
The Sacred Witness found herself in a place where the spirits of the dead and the souls yet to be born gather between the worlds. In sharing this ritual experience with the Sacred Witness, the ancestors came to me and spoke through me, and this is what they said:
“We have cut the cord. It is time for you to travel on your own. You are fully grown now, and we set you free in this world. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The world needs you. We believe in you. Shine bright. Make us proud.”
After the ritual was complete, a friend took me in her arms as waves of grief flooded through me, my whole body shaking as the ancestors cried through me and with me: for the pain of their stories; for the pain that they’ve passed on generation after generation; for the desperate need of this ending; for the sweet beauty of this world that they’re leaving behind; and for their forever love for us, their children, and this world’s greatest hope.
The ancestors are personal and archetypal; they’re the ones that have gone before us, both as part of our personal family and ethnic/cultural heritage, and our collective humanity. Their lived experiences and stories are woven into the fabric of our shared human reality, and the particulars of our family mythology and everyday lives. This world we live in, right now in 2017, is constructed of their stories where fear and the worst of our human instincts overrule love and our best qualities.
These stories of our ancestors are done. They’ve served their purpose of bringing us to this evolutionary/ revolutionary moment. Our ancestors have cut the cord, and seek an end to their pain and grief. And it’s each of us, their children, the waking ones, that must do the hard, messy, transformative work of putting our ancestors to rest.
This is happening right now, all around us, in the noise and chaos unfolding on the world stage. Our ancestors’ stories are unraveling before our eyes, and we’re being called to join in this work of disassembling the stories that trap us in a reality of fear and the worst of our humanity: stories on how to live and dream; stories that tell us who and what matter in our human society; stories that have passed on patterns of wounding and coping; stories that dim our light and hide our beauty; stories that hold the secrets and lessons that will ripen us into our true selves; stories that are the ancestors’ final gifts to us.
Imagine yourself as Sacred Witness in these Great Turning times. Let yourself sink deep between the worlds, and see the tumult on the world stage as the death process of our ancestors’ stories. Some of these stories will call to you; they’ll speak to your ancestral lineage, personal life experiences, and the very passion and purpose that drew your soul to this world of matter.
Claim these stories as your own. Let them guide your healing and action taking, and transform you into your full maturity and power. Always, choose love over fear, and your best instincts over your worst. Make this your soul work and contribution to the great task of mending our human society. Do these momentous, world-shattering things and our ancestors’ stories will have served their sacred purpose. Endings will come, rest will come, and we, their grownup children, will dream and story the world afresh.
Though this work may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible, remember the ancestors love you, believe in you, and know you’re the world’s greatest hope. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The ancestors have passed this precious world onto you, onto each of us. Let’s make them proud.
We generally do this dance in a circle, facing in, with everyone singing and clapping. One by one we jump into the center and act out the verse.
You could also do it with the lord (or lady) of the dance leading the singing in the middle, with the dancers circling and miming around.
Likewise, although when we do it everyone usually sings the whole thing together, you could do it as a call-and-response:
One: There was a pig went out to dig
All: Candlemas Day, Candlemas Day
One: There was a pig went out to dig
All: Candlemas Day in the morning.
In Cuba, Santeria practitioners look with hope to the new year. Progressive Christians take a look at some of the problematic narratives surrounding Mary. And finally both Jews and Muslims come together to fight prejudice. It's Faithful Friday, our news segment about faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Our religion is a danced religion, and right now it's time to stomp.
The ground is frozen, so we dance our stomp-dances for sleeping Earth and the sleeping animals and the sleeping seeds.
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
The stomp-dances begin now and continue while the ground is frozen.
Come thaw, of course, you don't stomp any more. That work will already have been done, that magic made.
No, then we'll start spring's leaping dances. The higher we leap, the higher they grow.
Grow! Grow! Grow!